TOMS, a company that sells a type of shoe with the same name, has always been a charitable company: for every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS will donate a pair to those in need. The company has also expanded into selling sunglasses and donating part of the revenue to helping restore eyesight. This month, TOMS presented a new online marketplace, dedicated to showcasing companies that share their philosophy and methods. The 30 small companies featured in the marketplace all sell products and donate parts of the funds to different causes, from education to health to preserving cultural heritages. Check it out here: http://www.toms.com/marketplace/.
A collective such as this is great for those who wish to give back to those in need while accomplishing their holiday shopping. Many of the items featured in the TOMS marketplace would make for excellent gifts: ties, décor, jewelry, electronics accessories, and more. To help you find more gift-giving opportunities that also support charities, we’ve come up with this holiday list:
- Headbands for Hope is a homemade business that matches every purchase of a headband by giving one to a girl who has had cancer. Headbands for Hope also donates $1 from every purchase. Buy some adorable headbands here: http://www.headbandsofhope.org/.
- Sevenly is kind of like a marketplace, but with a twist – every week, they pick a cause to donate to, then create an artistic product to sell. This ranges from t-shirts to totes to notebooks. $7 from every product sold is donated to the cause-of-the-week. Find some awesome gifts here: http://www.sevenly.org/.
- Buy a handmade scarf from Connected in Hope, a nonprofit that aids women and families in Ethiopia. The cool thing about this organization is that all of the products are made by the Ethiopian women that this charity benefits. Take a look: http://www.connectedinhope.org/.
- Create your own stuffed dog at Shelter Pups! Send them a picture of your dog, and they’ll send you a stuffed animal replica that looks just like it! Bonus: part of the money earned is donated to dog shelters in the U.S. Learn more here: http://www.shelterpups.com/shelter.php.
- Pearls with a Purpose sells genuine pearl necklaces to benefit families in the Philippines. These beautiful, handmade jewelry pieces aid Filipino women in job-training and supports the education of their children. Find them here: http://pearlswithpurpose.com/.
- Need a gift for the man in your life? Man Can buys cans of soup, donates them to a soup kitchen, then takes back the can and makes a candle in it. The scents are specifically designed to appeal to men. Best part? The founder of this charity started at age 13. http://www.man-cans.com/.
- DoGoodBuyUs is an online marketplace similar to the TOMS marketplace. Pretty much everything you’d want to buy can be found here and over 50% of the costs go to good causes! Start looking now at http://www.dogoodbuy.us/.
- Ten Thousand Villages is a retailer that sells handmade products made by artisans and crafters all over the world. The company prides itself on being “fair trade.” Products include jewelry, home décor, art, and more: http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/.
- What about some awesome holiday baked goods? Baking for Good is an online bakery that donates 15% of the profits they earn. Check out their snapshot cookies – you send them in some pictures, they put them on edible cookies. So cool! http://bakingforgood.com/.
- The Yellow Bird Project collaborates with indie musicians to donate to good causes. Bands help design t-shirts that you can buy, then they donate to a charity of their choice. The organization loves that they can give to charities while also showcasing their favorite musicians. If you’d like to give the gift of a creative t-shirt, support an indie band, and help out a cause, this is the place for you: http://www.yellowbirdproject.com/.
Don’t forget that buying locally this holiday season can also help out locally by putting money back into your community. You can also give back this holiday season by hosting food or clothing drives, participating in charity runs, and finding other great ways to donate or volunteer.
What are your favorite ways to give back during the holiday season?
Wallace, Gregory. “TOMS launches online marketplace.” http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/05/smallbusiness/toms-online-marketplace/. (11 Nov. 2013).
Jessica. “Great Gifts That Give Back.” http://www.foundthemarbles.com/2012/11/unique-holiday-gift-ideas-that-give-back/. (11 Nov. 2013).